Review: QAT MS6i Music Server
It's not often I enter a review with a clean slate, with no expectations, either good or bad. However, when this product arrived for review from Chinese based QAT Audio Technology, that was exactly the case.
QAT Audio Technology was founded back in 2006 and as a company is comprised of audiophiles, musical composers, as well as a team of Red Dot Design winning engineers, brought together for a single focus: “representing the sound of the original” artist recording.
QAT seems to primarily focus on the digital audio market, evident by a quick glance at their current product range. With the exception of a couple of amplifiers, their lineup consists of a CD player, a DAC (coming soon) and three music servers, the RS3, the MS5 and the subject of this review, the MS6i.
Of the range, the MS6i sits in the middle and is priced locally at the not insignificant sum of $4,449 RRP. What that nets you however, is very impressive.
Speaking with Michael Kirkham of Magenta Audio, Australian Distributor of QAT Audio Technology, I asked what prompted him to support this relatively unheard of brand (at least in Australia), locally?
The QAT stuff fits perfectly within our range. We were looking for an elegant solution to partner with the PS Audio DACs. Thankfully QAT will actually (remotely) load the PS Audio DirectStream USB drivers on any QAT server if the customer wishes.
The MS6i comes as standard in either a silver or black aluminum finish which frankly is quite stunning to look at. The casework is flawless; with workmanship you would expect to see on much higher priced components.
As standard, the MS6i comes with a 1TB hard drive and supports expansion up to a 2TB drive.
The MS6i plays back all the mainstream lossless file formats including WAV, FLAC, ALAC (M4A), WMA and AIFF (up to 24/192) as well as lossy formats such as MP3 and AAC.
Connectivity isn't limited either, boasting AES/EBU, BNC, Digital Coaxial as well as Digital Optical/Toslink.
The MS6i however is a digital transport, and as such has no on board DAC and thus no analogue outputs. There are no less than 4 Type-A USB ports for connecting external devices (or three if you use the supplied Wi-Fi adapter).
An RJ45 Ethernet port sits on the back too, which I would recommend using over the supplied Wi-Fi adapter, particularly if high-resolution playback is in the pipeline. There is also an RS232 port for integration into a control system.
Lover of Hi-Fi, Music and Recording Engineering. I particularly like the affordable and value-packed products; finding that diamond in the rough.
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